Surf skis, originally developed as life guard rescue skis, have traditionally been focused on ocean paddling – big waves and deep water. Hence the reason nearly all skis have under-stern rudders. The under-stern rudder works marvelously in that element: it provides excellent control, quicker reaction (due to the closer placement to the CG/CP), and it generally stays in the water when the waves grow bigger (it’s hard to control a surf ski when the rudder is only biting into air). Unfortunately for those of us who generally paddle flat water, the presence of an under-stern rudder sets our boats up for anything from the annoyance of a bent rudder to the frustration of experiencing serious boat damage if we should be so unfortunate as to whack a solid rock, log, or similar as we paddle down our favorite rivers and even some lakes. The obvious solution to this problem is to equip our skis with kick-up over-stern rudders, but doing so has typically required a bit of handyman skills to fabricate an effective and aesthetically pleasing installation. Stellar Kayaks now has an awesome solution: any surf ski in the line can be equipped from the factory with an over-stern rudder for around $150, plus the cost of the rudder assembly. Stellar’s solution is slick, allowing rapid change between under-stern and over-stern rudders, should your paddling conditions vary. Stellar installs the rudder tube for the Smart Track Race Rudder, all reinforcing to the hull, and the line tubes into the under-stern rudder crank housing. A false shaft in the under-stern rudder tube keeps everything set up for a quick swap to the under-stern rudder, while the over-stern rudder lines simply connect to the under-stern rudder crank. The over-stern rudder then installs or removes with a quick 90 degree turn into the rudder tube. Now you can have the best of both worlds!
Over or Under – have your rudder your way.
Posted on by River Bear Racing in Land Paddling & Other Great Topics
Published by River Bear Racing
Surf ski and kayak racing form a huge part of my life; as soon as the water is open in the Midwest, I'm on it 'till it freezes over again! Follow the aquatic adventure with the latest boats and equipment from Stellar Kayaks, Mocke Paddling Products, and now Land Paddling too. See you on the water! Steve ;) View all posts by River Bear Racing
3 thoughts on “Over or Under – have your rudder your way.”
I have an over stern rudder on my Stellar S18S surf ski and it works great. It was easy to install and adjust.
I failed to note in my write-up that the S18S comes with the fitting for the over-stern rudder (although you will need to purchase the over-stern rudder separately). Glad to hear it works well for you, Doug. The one on my S18S works superbly as well!
Great article. I am going through some of these issues as well..